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SENEGAL PARROT

Senegals are much quieter birds than many of the smaller, more colorful and popular parrots like the conures in the Aratinga genus. For this reason they make ideal pets for apartment or condominium living. They are an interesting bird that likes routine and become accustomed to the habits of their owners. Senegals learn human speech quite easily. Their voices are softer, quieter and gentler than their larger african cousins like the African Grey. They usually acquire a moderate vocabulary although some can have a more extensive list of words and phrases. Most will develop an understanding of several common phrases like "step up".                                                                         

Latin: Poicephalus senegalus

English: Senegal Parrot

German: Mohrenkopfpapagei

Length: 23cm (9 in)

Weight: 125g (4 1/2oz); newly hatched chicks weigh 6g (1/5 oz)

Immatures: Duller plumage; beak pink at base of upper mandible in very young birds, otherwise grey; iris dark grey.

Origin: Central-western Africa: nominate race from southern Mauritania and Mali through Senegal and the Gambia to Guinea; P.s.versteri (darker above, with abdomen and part of upper brast deep orange) occurs from Ivory Coast, through Ghana, Togo and Dahomey to Nigeria; P.s.mesotypus (paler and with abdomen orange) inhabits eastern and north-eastern Nigeria, northern Cameroon and south-western Chad.

Status: Very common to fairly common in open woodland and savannah. Aviculture: Very common - one of most frequently imported and, until 1980s, infrequently bred, of all parrots; wild-cautght adults too nervous for pets; in USA hand-reared young are offered, but at higher cost.

Diet: Cooked beans and pulses, boiled maize; sunflower seed - dry, soaked or sprouted - but limited for Greys; fruit, especially apple, orange, grapes, banana; rearing food; various fresh vegetables - but some will consume only fresh corn; dry or semi-sweet biscuits; spray millet; cooked chicken or chop bones relilshed by some birds.

Description: Senegal Parrots are probably the most popular of the Poicephalus parrots which includes Meyer's, Red-bellied, and Jardine's parrots. They are attractive and intelligent little birds that are highly social and live in flocks in the wild. They are from central and eastern Africa. The Senegal's head is gray, with a mostly green body. The breast and belly ranges in color from lime-yellow to deep orange. The body markings form a "V" with a green point running down the breast bone. There are some who say they can be sexed based on color, but this is very unreliable, especially when they are young. Others believe they can be sexed by their behavior, with females being shy and retiring and males being bolder and more aggressive. This is not very reliable either since there are bold hens and shy males. Juvenile birds have dark brown eyes, while adults eye color ranges from silvery yellow to orange.

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